This is the fifth post in our “How I Blog” series. To read the rest, visit the archives. Interested in participating? Drop us a note about ‘How I Blog’ along with a photo or yourself or your blogging space at tips [at] blogmedia [dot] biz.
Alan Baird, Online Editor, Blogger
I used to blog at work during my lunch hours, which pissed off my employer and got me canned. Now I get paid for blogging on the job, and wonder what to do with all these free lunch hours.
When I created The Desert Quidnunc for Palm Springs Life magazine, the blog was anchored with a bunch of series: historical plaques, public artworks, celebrity gravesites. But now it’s branching off into more interviews: the country’s first black/gay mayor, the leader of America’s second-richest Indian tribe, the guys who stand on corners and twirl arrow-signs.
In the early days, I baited the alpha bloggers every now and then, to attract new visitors into the site, but our traffic stats seem to have reached a critical mass and are now moving up on their own. I have no idea why.
Being a blogger-for-hire is enormously different than posting a personal blog. It’s important to remain sensitive to possible copyright and libel issues, while keeping an overall focus on the agreed-upon subject matter. But I think a professional blogger needs to be eclectic, too – stitching a blog together with individual postings is much like weaving a vivid piece of Kente cloth with different threads… the finished product can be pretty boring when there’s too much of one color.
I was lucky enough to design and teach a blogging course for the University of California, but I really feel the only way of becoming a decent blogger is to experiment with different styles, to see what works for you. I began manually programming an online journal in 1996… before the term “blog” was coined, and long before automatic blogging software was invented. So I guess that means these last ten years of
wasting time with blogs ‘€” I mean, honing my skills to maximize opportunities’€”are finally starting to pay off.
Ten years. Holy crap, I’ve been experimenting for a long time.
Maybe one of these days, I’ll get it right.
Matt Craven is the former editor & publisher of The Blog Herald. Currently, Matt is the co-founder of Bryghtpath LLC, a consulting practice located in Woodbury, Minnesota. Matt's presently looking for new blogging gigs. Ping him at matt (at) bryghtpath dot com. You can follow him on Twitter.